Authorities have filed cruelty charges against an Akron pet store employee after she allegedly posted photos of herself on her Facebook page smiling while holding two rabbits she drowned in the store’s back room. (Warning: link contains photo which could be disturbing to some viewers.)
Elizabeth Carlisle was fired from her job at a Petland store in Akron, Ohio, after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals found photos posted on her Facebook page showing Carlisle holding two dead, wet bunnies by the scruff of the neck.
According to PETA, Carlisle commented that a store manager took the photo after Carlisle drowned the bunnies while swearing at them to “hurry up and die.”
Carlisle’s other comments indicate the rabbits were killed to end their suffering, caused primarily by their care at the store. The rabbits were apparently allowed to “attack” and “eat” each other and suffered deep wounds. One had an eye missing, according to comments posted with the photo.
After the photos surfaced, Petland revoked the store owner’s franchise and removed all its animals from the store, which was located inside an Akron mall. Police are still investigating the incident but Carlisle has been charged and will appear in court Aug. 17.
As I’ve mentioned in this blog before, my girlfriend has a small pet business. She sells parakeets, cockatiels, a few other birds, snakes and other reptiles, hamsters, bunnies and whatever other small animals she is into at the moment.
Most of the animals live in a spare bedroom in our home, including the rabbits. They can be a lot to handle. Proper care requires you don’t overcrowd them. With a large number of bunnies, you have to clean the cages daily. It can be a lot of work, but it’s not optional. One of the things my girlfriend and I have discussed is the responsibility that comes with keeping pets. Having as many animals as we do brings with it the work that goes into caring for them.
As anyone who keeps pets must learn at some point, animals don’t live forever. A house bunny typically lives 8 or 9 years if properly cared for, and some can live as long as 13 or 14 years. When you are dealing with large numbers of pets, some won’t make it that long. It’s only natural. But there is no excuse for the kinds of conditions described in this case.
Drowning or otherwise killing animals because you don’t want to do the work that comes with keeping them is cruel and inhumane. If anyone should understand this, it should be those who work with animals on a daily basis. I can only hope justice is truly served in this case.
- Staff Writer Bryan Dean